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Morgan Sindall Construction tops out at £18.8 million expansion to Essex school

NEWS

Morgan Sindall Construction has reached the topping out stage at the £18.8 million expansion to Lexden Springs School in Colchester, Essex.

The company is delivering the major relocation and expansion project on behalf of Essex County Council, which will increase the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school’s capacity from 120 to 200 pupils.

The construction milestone was celebrated with a topping out ceremony at the school’s new state-of-the-art campus on the former Heath School site, in Winstree Road, Stanway. The project is on programme to complete in September this year.

Thirty boarding places will also be created for pupils, as well as extensive car parking and landscaping works. The new building will have two separate entrances, with one specifically designed for use by minibuses and taxis to drop off and collect pupils.

Lexden Springs’ expansion is part of the authority’s plans to spend up to £115 million on creating more than 400 new SEND places across Essex.

The record investment, which includes £42 million from the Essex Schools Forum, comes after an increase in the number of children in the county being diagnosed with autism and a surge in the demand for SEND school places.

Chris Travers, operations director for Morgan Sindall Construction in the East of England, said: “We’re pleased to be celebrating the excellent progress that has been made so far on this major expansion project for Essex County Council and Lexden Springs School.

“Essex County Council’s investment in Lexden’s new building, as well as its wider investment in educational provisions across the region, demonstrates the leading role that the council is taking to transform SEND teaching facilities in Essex. We know that there is a growing demand from families in the area for greater SEND resources and schools such as Lexden will be designed to the scale and high-quality that will allow their children to flourish.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our work with Essex County Council and handing over a stunning new home for Lexden Springs School later this year.”

Morgan Sindall Construction is well-versed in delivering high-quality special educational needs provisions across the East. In Littleport, the company has delivered Highfield Littleport Academy which was part of a £37.5 million education and leisure facility for the town, a 100-place SEN provision in Old Buckenham called Chapel Green School, as well as the new £15.4 million Glenwood SEN School in Essex. These state-of-the-art education facilities feature bespoke designs which create unique and inspiring environments for children and young adults with severe and multiple learning difficulties.

Councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The expansion and relocation of Lexden Springs School is one part of our ambitious SEND programme across Essex and demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our county’s schools are equipped to meet pupils’ individual needs.

“The topping out ceremony is an important milestone in the new school’s journey and once open, it will see us better placed to meet the increasing demand for special school places, not only in Colchester, but also across Essex. Our continued investment in special schools will also reduce the need for children to be educated at independent schools, or outside of the county.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in getting us to this stage. I look forward to seeing progress continue to ensure the school is ready to welcome pupils back this September.”

Simon Wall, head teacher at Lexden Springs School, said: "Working with Morgan Sindall Construction has been wonderful for the pupils who are welcomed onto the building site every week with enthusiasm and shown the progress that has been made since their last visit. The builders and site managers have put on practical demonstrations, which our pupils have enjoyed. Morgan Sindall Construction is clearly committed and passionate about building the best infrastructure for our very deserving special pupils.

"It has been a pleasure to work with Morgan Sindall Construction on this project and I have felt very much part of the team at all stages of the design and build."

Morgan Sindall Construction is on site at major schemes across the East. In Lowestoft, the company is currently delivering the new headquarters for world-leading UK marine science agency CEFAS (The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science). The development will provide the organisation with a purpose-built, sustainable building and refurbish their existing laboratories to bring them up to date, enabling CEFAS to continue to build on its 115-year-old globally-recognised marine science heritage.

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